As in the Witch Mountain adventure, I’ve got a title-irrelevant castle as the starting point, that leads down into the real adventure. Mages had a tendency to graduate to other planes, leaving behind strongholds perfect for adventurers to explore.
And of course the mages leave egocentric testaments to their power and yet are completely forgotten today. I came on Ozymandias by way of the Avengers 57. After the Avengers defeated Ultron, Roy Thomas used some of Shelly’s poem as a kid kicked the robot’s head around in the ghetto. That issue was then reprinted in the Avengers edition of Marvel Treasury, where I read it.
The city itself was meant to have originally been above ground—it’s just so old that the cavern has built up around it.
The Kopru from the Isle of Dread fascinated me, and I think I’d started reading Lovecraft about this time. Clearly, I did have the Monster Manual II, with its gibberers and newts.
I don’t know what the Legend of the City was for. I added it in green pencil after printing out the adventure (as I recall, my word processor was more of a glorified typewriter: it didn’t save). I’m not sure how much later I added that stuff. It references the Kingdom of Oberon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I wrote it after writing. I don’t recall the Oberon of the castle being a kingdom. But it’s been a long time. And in any case, the “in the days of the Kingdom of Oberon” was an addition to the addition.
The maps for this adventure are in worse shape than the others. Around 1987 or so we had a house fire; the fire department got there pretty quickly, so most things survived, but I’m guessing this adventure was on the top of the pile. It was damaged more by water than by fire.*
An avalanche has revealed a huge building set into the mountain.
Long ago, in the days of the kingdom of Oberon, strangers came from out of the badlands, dressed in odd garb and speaking an unknown tongue.
When the wizards deciphered the speech, the men had this story:
They came from a far away land, a land of never-ending summer; they had been lost in a cave. Some of their number died escaping a deadly spirit, and they were forced further into the caverns. Finally, they came upon a huge cavern, filled with monstrous mounds that glowed in the torchlight like a thousand rainbow huts. They found a map to guide them to another exit, and escaped upwards through more caverns, losing more friends to a hideous monster on the way up.
Finally, they came back into the open, but in the cold, desolate, harsh badlands, in early fall.
The doors open very easily. There are no wandering monsters in Level I of this dungeon.
1) A huge painting is on the floor, of an angry man with fire for hair. As soon as someone stands on the face, the torches will light up, one by one, a to b, one every segment. The middle two will not light. If a character lights these, a voice, seemingly coming from the floor below the painting will boom out:
“Thou art in the Grand Palace of the Great Akram-Crandikon, Destroyer of Mountains and Builder of Empires. Who would seek audience with this great and wonderful Man?”
Then, if this were the old days (about 2,500 years ago), the visitors would proclaim their names and functions. Someone from inside would open the doors and let them in.
Unfortunately, the old days are long gone, and after this show of power nothing will occur. The doors are stuck, and the normal chances of opening hold.
2) A floating table, 4 feet by 6 feet, is in here. 4 skeletons guard the table and 4 skeletons guard the door. Both will ignore each other. On the table is a vase, worth 20 gp, with old, very dry dirt in it. The dots are statues of fighters. Skeletons: AC7, MV12, HD1, hp 5, At1, D1-6 (two handed swords), SD: half damage from sharp weapons.
3) This room is lit by continual light. 14 Giant Rats will attack. The opening to their lair is 1 foot by 1 foot. The rats: AC7, MV12//6, HD1/2, hp 1, At1, D1-3, SA: disease, Al: NE. Scattered about the room are 3 skeletons. There is a small alabaster statue (250 gp) under one table, of a weird being (Kopru).
a. Skeleton #1: a pouch with 50 gp, an amethyst (25 gp), wearing a gold ring (50 gp)
b. Skeleton #2: a crown worth 350 gp, a sceptre worth 250 gp, and an emerald/platinum ring worth 250 gp
c. Skeleton #3: a pouch with 25 gp, 10 pp, an amethyst (25 gp), wearing a gold ring (50 gp)
4) The torches are unlit. Scattered about this room are 2,200 coins of tin, each worth 2 cp for their historic value. 10 Rats will attack: AC7, MV12//6, HD1/2, hp 1, At1, D1-3, SA: disease, Al: NE.
5) There are lots of holes in this room, leading down into darkness. If the party was not silent coming here, 10 Crabmen will attack, in an attempt to test the strength of the party. They are hiding behind tables, etc. If they have NO chance of winning, they will retreat, down the holes. The dots with As in them are statues.
6) Kitchen, empty.
7) This is the pantry. Hidden in one corner, in a rathole, is a deck of many things, Stratton Style. Only two cards may be drawn by each character. The deck will be ‘lost’ by the holding character somewhere safe before reaching civilization.
a. Le Chariot: The character is immediately transported to the nearest large city.
b. Hermite: The character is immediately transported to the loneliest sport in the ethereal plane.
c. Le Jugement: Be judged; if found not correctly aligned, lose one level and change alignment, or lose two levels and stay.
d. Le Mort: The character must fight death or die.
e. Le Monde: The character is hated by all royalty.
f. La Justice: Character has the ability to see invisible.
g. Le Fendu: Character is jerked into the air, seemingly by the neck, and takes 2-7 points damage.
h. Le Fou: Character’s intelligence permanently lowered by 4 points.
i. La Pape: Character’s wisdom permanently raised by 2 points.
j. L’Amoureux: Character’s charisma permanently raised by 2 points.
k. La Papesse: Character gains a random clerical scroll.
l. Le Fen du Ciel: Character is able to cast one lightning at his own level, every week.
m. Le Bateleur: Character is suddenly juggling 3 balls. He must roll under his dexterity each round to be sure they don’t drop. If they are dropped the first round, they will do 5d6 to all within 10 feet. If dropped the next, they will do 4d6, then 3d6, then 2d6, then d6, then nothing. If the character is able to make it this far, his dexterity is permanently raised by 1 point.
n. La Roue de Fortune: The character must guess a number between and including 1-4. The DM rolls a 4 sided die. If the character’s number comes up, the character wins a gem worth all the money the character currently has on his person. If not, the character loses one random magic item.
o. La Force: The character’s strength is raised permanently by 1 point or 10%.
p. Le Diable: A Type III demon will attack the character in 1 week, fighting to the death.
q. L’Imperatrice: Character gains 4 gems. Roll up worth on DMG table.
r. L’Empereur: Character gains 4,000 coins. Roll d5: 1 Copper, 2 Silver, 3 Electrum, 4 Gold, 5 Platinum.
s. Les Etoiles: The character is never lost when the stars are visible.
t. La Lune: Character loses 2 points wisdom permanently.
u. Le Soleil: Character is hit by a 6 die fireball. If he does not fall, he has the ability to cast one fireball at his own level every week.
8) This was the bathroom. There is a gas spore in here now: AC9, MV3, HD1/8, hp 1, At1, D nil, SA: disease, explosion.
9) Waiting Room: Statues, remains of tapestries, and a gold pot worth 100 gp.
10) Two Fire Guardians guard this passageway. They let no one through. AC8, HD3, hp 16, 15, MV0, At1, D1-4, SD: can be hit only by magical cold, which does 1/4 damage, or +2 or greater weapon. They will get 1 attack on each character if running through, 2 if walking.
11) The Shadow Knows! A shadow has kept residence here: AC7, MV12, HD3+3, hp 13, At1, D2-5, SA: strength drain 1 pt, SD: +1 or better magic weapon to hit, 90% undetectable, Al: CE.
12) The Treasure Room: Two chests:
a. Chest #1) 1,000 gp, a sword (chaotic + or -3), two handed.
b. Chest #2) 500 ep, 2 gold rings (50 gp), crown (500 gp)
d. Empty: a wash jug, silver, worth 50 gp.
As in Level I, there are no Wandering Monsters here either.
1) 2 wights live here: AC5, MV12, HD4+3, At1, D1-4, SA: one level, SD: silver/magic needed to hit, Al: LE. They even have some treasure: a scimitar+2, and 30 gp, 15 ep, 20 pp, 2,000 sp, 20,000 cp.
2) 25 skeletons are in the cells, but the metal has long since rtusted away, and they are no longer held. They will attack anything living: AC7, MV12, HD1, hp 5, At1, D1-6, SD: 1/2 damage from sharp weapons.
4) The rest of the Crabmen will be here. (There are 30 total.) Their treasure, in one corner, is 300 sp, a silver statue worth 50 gp, and 2 silver rings (25 gp, 100 gp). They also have a wand, made of silver, which also happens to be a wand of wonder, 5 charges.
6) Ten Large Spiders screw around here: AC8, MV6*15, HD1+1, hp 7, At1, D1, SA: poison at +2. Amongst their webs are 150 cp, 100 sp, 70 ep, 50 gp and 35 pp.
7) Shriekers: 4, AC7, MV1, HD3, hp 16, 17, 16, At0, SD: noise, Size: L. Nothing will respond.
8) A Marlgoyle resides here: AC2, MV6/12, HD6, hp 28, At4, D1-6/1-6/2-4/2-8, SA: surprise 80%, SD: +1 or better to hit, Al: CE. It has treasure, buried under the largest rock (combined strength of 35 to move): a map of the city, and 164 gp, 1,000 sp, 1,000 cp.
Rainbow City is called that because over the years every building has become a stalagmite of brilliant colors.
1 in 4 every 6 rounds in combat, 1 in 10 every hour non-combat (1 in 6 plate).
|1)||1-4||Blindheim||AC1, MV9, HD4+2, hp 30, 11, 22, 27, At1, D1-8, SA: blinding stare, Al: CE|
|2)||1-4||Eye Killers||AC5, MV9, HD4, hp 30, 24, 17, 19, At1, D1-6, SA: death stare, Al: CE|
|3-4)||2-5||Fire Newts||AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 14, 10, 12, 8, 12, At1, D1-6 (s. sword), SA: fire, Al: NE|
|5)||1||Grell||AC4, MV12, HD5, hp 30, 23, 18, 28, At11, D(10)x(1-4)/1-6, SA: paralysation, SD: immune to lightning, Al: NE|
|6)||1-3||Perytons||AC7, MV12/21, HD4, hp 23, 17, 24, 17, At1, D4-16, SA: +2 to hit, SD: +1 or better to hit, Al: CE|
|8)||Flash in Distance|
|10)||1||Living Darkness||AC5, HD3+2, hp 18, 11, 15, 16, MV6, At:all, D1-6, SA: +6 to hit, SD: magical needed to hit|
1) Gate Entrance: Just before this entrance are huge spider webs, and large spiders—10 of them: AC8, MV6*15, HD1+1, hp 6, At1, D1, SA: poison at +2. They have 135 cp, 70 ep, 35 pp, 105 sp, and 50 gp.
The gate itself, 10 feet behind the web, is just barely visible. If rock, etc., is cleared from the huge (10 ft up, 20 ft across) gate, these words will be visible on the right side:
“The City of Friends
bids welcome to thee
man of the sea.
Enter anon, be happy within;
delight in a city…”
To bad for the characters, the rest is completely unreadable. It finished “where nothing is sin.”
2) Hole to the city palace (see palace section)
3) Hole to the Temple (see temple section)
4) Hole to the caves of the Treasure map (see cave section)
The upper floors are all caved in. Only the first floor and the dungeon remain intact.
|X:||Killer Tree||AC5, MV0, HD6, hp 24, 27, At5, D4x0/3-18. The range of the killer tree’s limbs are shown by dotted lines.|
|Circle:||Amber Lotus Flower Patch||AC9, MV0, HD1/2, hp 2, number:10, 12, SA: sleep|
|A:||Archer Bush||AC7, MV3, HD2, hp 8, 9, At1, D1-4, Al: CN. They can shoot up to 20 feet away.|
There is a potion of Treasure Finding in a sack under one Archer Bush.
Legend is the same. The patches here hold 11,13 flowers, and the bushes have 8, 11, and 11 hp respectively. There is 83 sp mixed with a skeleton under one bush. There is also a mound, which is actually a plant golem. It will attack when touched, gaining +3 to hit on the first attack: AC6, MV12, HD3+2, hp 9, At3, D1-4/1-4/1-4, using a club.
1) Entrance Room. There is a metal doll on the floor here, worth 15 gp.
8) 6 Gorbels be in dis spot. AC3(10), MV18, HD2, hp 1, AT1, D1-4, SA: after hits, sticks, for 1-6 automatically, when dies it explodes, doing 1-4 to any in 5 feet, SD: only hit by pointed or edged weapons.
9) 2 Fire Newts guard this room. AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 11, 11, At1, D1-8 (scimitar), SA: fire, Al: NE.
10) 3 Giant Toads frolic in the pool here, just waiting for tasty adventurer: AC6, MV6+6 hop, HD2+4, hp 10, 16, 10, At1, D2-8.
11) Secret Passageway—illusion here makes it seem to be 300 feet long, feels it, lantern will show so.
12) A mouthing gibberer† frolics at this pool: AC1, MV3/6, HD4+3, hp 25, At6, D1(X6)+1/round, SA: spit, babble, SD: control ground density. The gibberer has this treasure: 1 gem (10 gp blue quartz)
a. Chest #1: 1,000 gp, 500 ep
b. Chest #2: 250 pp, vial of 3 pinches of powder of light, ring of craft knowledge (pottery).
15) A tentafang: AC4, MV9, HD5+1, hp 21, At3, D1-6/1-6,1-4, Al: CN, Size: L. He has, scattered around, 1,000 sp, 666 ep, 1 star sapphire (1,500 gp), and the treasure map.
19) The ceiling in here is highly unstable. On a 1 in 6 when walking under it, it will fall in. If it is prodded, it will fall on a 5 in 6. If one part falls, the entire room will, and all in will take d10, save vs. petrification halfing that.
20) See 19.
23) This room is lit up by an eerie green glow, which seems just a little brighter at the window. When looking out the window, weirdly dressed men and women can be seen changing about a huge, green fire. Stepping out puts in natural alcove of rock.‡
31) 3 Fire Newts guard this section: AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 12, 10, At1, D1-8 (scimitar), SA: fire, Al: NE.
32) Empty. This room is used to store food by the Newts.
33) 10 Fire Newts, the remaining of the Newt clan, live here: AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 11, At1, D1-6 (s. scord), SA: fire, Al: NE.
1) Stairwell: 2 Newts guard it: AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 12, 12, At1, D1-8 (scimitar), SA: fire, Al: NE.
2) The Fire Newt Treasure Room. Five Newts guard it: AC5, MV9, HD2+2, hp 12, 13, At1, D1-8 (scimitar), SA: fire, Al: NE. 750 gp, 1,500 pp, all lying for the taking.
3) 2 Huge spiders guard their paltry money (5,000 cp, 1,000 gp): AC6, HD2+2, hp 13, 15, At1, D1-6, SA: surprise on 1-3, poison.
4) filled with a useless, harmless gas, which simply obscures vision.
6) Glowing weapons line the walls: a number equivalent to the number of people in the party, one for each, and useable by them. The first time they make a hit in combat, they will disappear. It will take two rounds to get a new one, and the character will have a +1 AC, due to being surprised.
7) 1 Gargoyle: AC4, MV9/15, HD4+4, hp 22, At4, D1-3/1-3/1-6/1-4, SD: +1 or better needed to hit, Al: CE. Wears a ring+1, has 50 gp in a pile.
12) A Sonico sounds off here: AC7, MV60, HD3+7, hp 25, At1, D5-15, SA: will hit unless attacking with blast (does 11-23), SD: all in area get -3 to hit, cannot be hit, Al: CE. He has a treasure map (to monetary treasure, in a lair), 750 gp, 2,600 pp, 52 gems, 37 jewelry.
14) Hydraman: HD6, hp 20 (2@10, 4@5, 8@2, 16@1)§, uses scimitar. He guards an old chest with clothes, seven-pointed star (8 in. by 8 in.), which changes alignment diametrically with respect to law/chaos, a box of dirt which gives -1 on AC, and a string of beads which give -1 on AC, along with 2 vials of dirt, a copper chalice, and a copper ring.
2) Passage blocked by Caryatid Column: AC5, MV6, HD5, hp 22, At1, D2-8, SD: snap chance, +4 on saves.
3) 8 Brilliarch Wights: AC9, MV12, HD3, hp 13, At3, D1-6/1-6/1-6, Al: CN. Brilliarch wights are pale, pasty white humanoids, but 3 stalks coming out where eyes ought to be. Seven fingers on each hand (6 + 1 thumb).
4) 2 chalices (gold, 50 gp), 3 gold/silver outfits (100 gp each)
5) 4 Brilliarch Wights: AC9, MV12, HD3, hp 12, At3, D1-6/1-6/1-6, Al: CN. There is a secret tunnel to room 7 here.
6) 4 Brilliarch Wights (see above, hp 11). There is a secret tunnel to room 7 here.
7) 1 Brilliarch Wight (see above, hp 15).
8) 3 Brilliarch Wights (see above, hp 18, 13, 11).
9) 3 Golden platters (25 gp), 4 diamond rings (500 gp).
10) 5 alabaster statues of hideous creatures (500 cn, 600 gp)
11) 3,000 sp, 2,000 ep
12) Sword: +1, Flame Tongue, +2 vs. Regenerating Creatures, +3 vs. Cold-using, inflammable, and avian creatures, +4 vs. Undead
The map appears to be missing, assuming there ever was one. Doesn’t sound difficult, though. (a) caves, (b) twisting, (c) 3 encounter areas.
2) Treasure! Guarded by a Spectre: AC2, MV15/30, HD7+3, hp 35, At1, D1-8, SA: 2 levels, SD: +1 or better to hit, Al: LE.
a. 40,000 cp, 50,000 sp, 16,000 ep, 12,000 gp
b. sword+1, +4 vs. reptiles
c. treasure map 2
f. helm of underwater action
3) Hole which is portal to another cave system in jungle country.